Askild Haugland has been quietly pushing out releases from his Norwegian home for over 20 years now, largely via his own Early Morning Records. With no interest in self-promotion or playing live, Taming Power may easily have passed you by – it seems to be the way that a new listener rapidly moves from unawareness to transfixion, such is the seductive nature of Askild’s productions. No obvious influences, minimal in composition and sound yet strangely compelling in a way that defies description. Endless tentative nudging of guitar strings and humming circuits, tape hiss and organ clunks invoke a particular kind of bliss – one second you think you’re wading through the pre-amble, the next you’re up to your neck in the irresistible bliss of drowning and are not quite sure how you got there.
Askild offers his own insight into his piece for TUSK Virtual and his history as Taming Power:
The musical part is selected from a sequence of recordings made in real time with two connected reel-to-reel tape recorders. The only sound source used was tape recorder feedback generated while the machines were recording. The music from these sessions were released on tape cassettes and 10″ vinyl record. First 2 long pieces were released on cassette, then some selections were released on 10″ record, and finally 3 cassettes were released with selections from the remaining material. The music appearing in this Video #5 is a different edit of the same material that was included on the 10″ record. On the 10″ the sequence is longer, and split into 2 pieces with fade-out/fade-in in the middle. Here the sequence is shorter, but runs continously where the released version breaks off and starts again. This countinous edit was originally intended for the ‘Electroshock’ festival in St.Petersburg in 2002. It is now premiered at TUSK Festival 2020.
The music of Taming Power:
This project started in 1987 as an attempt to make immediate music – then formulated as free-form improvised psychedelic music.
The project was hibernating during the mid-90s while few recordings were made, but was reactivated in 1996-97.
In addition to tape recorder pieces the music of Taming Power also includes hybrid works for tape recorders and various instruments, and also musique concrète, radio ready-mades and pieces based on only el.guitar or piano.
Early Morning Records releases the music of Taming Power since 1997. So far the releases include 18 vinyl records, 40 cassettes and 1 CDR, as well as 2 compilation EPs with various artists.
Recently there have also been Taming Power releases on the labels Winebox Press and Fort Evil Fruit, as well as a collaboration with Stuart Chalmers released on the label Blue Tapes.